Masala Bharwan Karela
Masala Bharwan Karela is a Punjabi delicacy that will make even kids fall in love with karela. Here the karela is first peeled, slit, coated with salt and allowed to marinate, to eliminate some of the bitterness and to tenderize the vegetable. It is then stuffed with a mouth-watering masala that has aromatic and chatpata spices. Done, the right way, the Masla Bharwan Karela is a dish that will raise your reputation for brilliant cooking!
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Ingredients for the marinade
- Bitter melon (Karela) - 8
- Salt - 1 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
- Vegetable oil - 1 Tbsp
Ingredients for the filling
- Mustard oil - 3 Tbsp
- Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
- Asafoetida (hing) - 1/8 Tsp
- Gram flour - 2 Tbsp
- Red chili powder - 1/2 Tsp
- Fennel seed powder - 1 Tbsp
- Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp
- Coriander powder - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Mango powder (amchoor) - 1 Tbsp
- Salt - 1 Tsp
- Thread to tie the karelas
Method to prepare the karela
- Wash karelas thoroughly and using the knife, scrape the skin. Keep the scraped skin aside.
- Make a slot in the karela lengthwise and remove the seeds. (You can use the seeds in the spice mixture if they are tender).
- Add karelas and the skin scrapings and tender seeds to a bowl. Sprinkle salt and lemon juice. Let it sit for at least an hour. (This will help in removing some bitterness from the karelas).
- Squeeze the karelas to remove all the marinade. Wash the karela twice with salt water and then squeeze out all the water.
- Separate the scrapings and the tender seeds from the whole karelas.
Method for filling
- Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Let the cumin seeds crackle. Add the karela skin scrapings and tender seeds and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
- Now add gram flour and stir fry for a minute or until the raw smell of the gram flour goes away.
- Add all the dry spices - coriander powder, fennel seed powder, turmeric, red chili powder and mango powder. Sauté for a minute and then turn off the heat. Let the mixture cool down a bit.
- Stuff the karelas with the spice mixture. Tie the karelas with a thread so that the stuffing does not come out while cooking.
Method to cook the karelas
- Heat 3 tbsp of mustard oil in a pan.
- Spread the stuffed karelas in a pan and sprinkle with salt. Cover the pan and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. (if some spice masala is left, you can add over the karelas at this stage)
- Turn the karelas over to the uncooked side and cook for 2 more minutes. Cook the karelas from all the sides until golden brown and well cooked (You can add 2 tbsp of water, if karelas are burning).
- Masala Bharwan Karelas are ready to serve as a side dish with chapati or rice.
- These karela can be served hot or cold and can be refrigerated for up to a week.
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